Repairing Your Concrete Floors

It is inevitable that concrete will soon develop chips and small cracks. Though these minor problems do not post any structural threats, it would be wise to address cracks as soon as possible through a concrete repair. Whenever chips or small cracks appear, it is certain that wear and tear would follow. Follow these instructions to repair small cracks that are 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: One to two hours

  1. Procedure:
    Clean the crack using a wire brush. Remove loose debris and vacuum the crack. In cases where dirt, oil or grease is near or remains in the crack, remove it by a thorough cleaning.
  2. Undercut the edges of the crack by using a large hammer and a cold chisel. This process will keep the patch in place.
  3. Always use eye protection.
  4. Coat the surface of the crack with concrete bonding adhesive using a small paint brush. Let the adhesive sit and dry completely.
  5. Make a mix using enough sand mix and water as per instructions found on the bag. You can find sand mix sold in home stores. It is a variety of dried concrete products.
  6. Fill the cracks completely with the mix using a trowel and smooth and level the surface.
  7. Leave the patch undisturbed to allow it to cure as per the bag’s instructions.
  • Materials Needed:
    Vacuum cleaner
    Cold chisel
    Hammer
    Wire brush and paint brush
    Safety glasses
    Sand mix
    Concrete bonding adhesive
    Trowel

Bathroom Renovation on a Budget

Bathroom renovations are never a cheap undertaking. That is exactly why it is wise to carefully calculate how
much everything will cost you before you finally begin to throw out your present bathroom items. This will
help you determine whether or not you can truly afford the entire procedure or if it would be wiser to wait
several months until you collect sufficient funds. It is quite impossible for you to calculate your particular
bathroom renovation costs to every single cent, since as with all home renovation projects, there’s always the
possibility of unwanted surprises that are impossible to foretell before the renovation begins. Nevertheless,
you may certainly determine your bathroom renovation costs extremely accurately if you pay close attention
to the following tips:

1. New bathroom fixtures:

This is probably the simplest part of your bathroom renovation project calculations.
All ou have to do is just determine what you require and how much it will all cost. The total price of your new
bathroom fixtures eventually depend on your bathroom size, the fixtures you want replaced and your own
individual preferences when it comes to design, materials and style.

2. Scale of the renovation project:

It is an obvious idea that the more extensive and complicated your
renovation is the higher the overall price will be. Adding in new fixtures, relocating them, etc. will dramatically
increase the bathroom renovation price. Therefore, if you’d like to remain within your set financial budget,
then it is definitely advised to go through your wishes carefully.

3. Removing your old bathroom:

Removing your old bathtub, toilet, ceramic tiles, and so on is pretty hard
labor, which would cost you quite a bit of cash if you decide to hire a professional to do it. The fact of the
matter is that you can’t really ruin anything if you decide to remove your old bathroom all by yourself, which is
why we recommend that you consider performing a DIY project if you have the time for it.

 

4. Installing the new bathroom:

You can theoretically install the new bathroom all by yourself, but we believe
that it is a smart idea to leave the installation part of the renovation to the true professionals unless you are
absolutely confident that you can perform it well. Of course this will increase the overall costs of your
renovation project, but then again ruining your all-new bathroom would be much more expensive.

5. Special problems:

Before you install your new bathroom it would be wise to deal with all kinds of special
issues like mold, leaks, electrical issues, etc. These will probably demand professional expert help that would
increase your renovation costs. However, installing your new bathroom without taking care of these essential
issues won’t do it justice. Furthermore, it would quickly destroy your new bathroom’s appearance, not to
mention that it could even endanger your health.

At the end of the day, your bathroom renovation costs all depend on your individual project and how far you
decide to take it. Implement these five essential tips and you’ll certainly reduce costs and help your wallet!

DIY Washing Machine Repair Tips

washing-machine-units-225x300Washing machines aren’t the most sophisticated machines in the world, and with some little background knowledge, even you can be able to fix a washing machine problem on your own. Even so, some people decide to junk a washing machine, when in fact the device has many years left of good service and only requires a minor fix. The opposite ideally does occur, where people spend so much money and time fixing a machine that should be disposed of. Generally speaking, a home washing machine that has served you for over a decade really does not need any repairs, as you are much better off with a new one.

That being said, let us take a look at some of the common washing machine repair problems and how to fix them. If your device shows any of these behaviors, you might be able to fix them by yourself instead of calling in a repair person. Of course, this brief article won’t cover all the problems, but it will point out a couple of ideas.

Well, one of the simplest issues is a dead clothes washer or rather one that does absolutely nothing. This might seem straightforward, but it’s possible to overlook certain things like whether the device is plugged in, whether the socket is electrified and whether the knob is set to the on cycle.

The laundry machine doesn’t go into its spin cycle. This can be caused by the unbalanced spin protection feature and so, ascertain that it is not due to a single heavy object in the machine. There might also be a short broken wire or a problem with the control system.

The machine’s drum doesn’t rotate. This can have a couple of various causes such as a broken or jammed belt, or even problems with the device’s motor. As such, it is important that you do not jump to any conclusions, but rather investigate the issue appropriately and thoroughly before you proceed.

If you decide to replace the residential washer, it’s not a must to consider a machine that does not fit into your budget. You can always find a used machine that is still in good condition. Such machines go for sale in numerous places, and all you need to do is some research to get the best deal.

Top Garage Door Tips For Maintaining Your Garage Door

garage-door-and-bikeThe garage door in a home is regarded as the biggest moving part and is often used multiple times in a day. If you have put off your routine maintenance on this costly part, maintenance can often lead to repairs that are costly. Below are a few garage door tips to follow to help you with avoiding these costs.

Listen And Look

One of the best preventative steps you can use is to watch your garage door when in action each time you open or close the door. Does the door move smoothly or does it jerk in specific places? You should also listen to the way the door operates, does the door operate silently or do you hear scraping and grinding noises. Other observations should include checking whether both sides of this system which include the cables, pulleys and springs look symmetrical.

Tighten Up Your Hardware

The typical garage door will move upwards and downwards over 1000 times in a year. This translates to a vast amount of vibration and movements that can often loosen up the hardware. Examine and then tighten all the bolts and roller brackets using a socket-wrench.

Test Your Garage Door Balance

If a garage door is not balanced correctly, the opener is forced to work much harder and it will not last as long as it should. You can check on this issue by disconnecting the opener by pulling on your release handle. Now manually move the garage door to about halfway up. If the door begins to slide down, the springs or counterweight system is improperly balanced. A spring adjustment on a garage door should always be conducted by a professional garage door repair company.

 Inspect And Replace Your Rollers

One of the more important garage door tips includes your rollers. Whether they are constructed out of nylon or steel, they must be inspected at least every 6 months and then replaced at about every 7 years or more if your garage door is used frequently each day. Cracked, chipped or worn rollers must be replaced immediately. You can conduct this task by removing and then reinstalling any of the roller brackets which are not attached directly to your cable system.

Lubricate The Moving Parts

Making sure the moving parts in your garage door are greased up has the potential to add many years of a seamless operation of your garage door. You can use lithium grease on the screw or chain of the opener and spray lubricant for the overhead-springs.

house design

Craftsman Homes Built America’s Dream

A little love nest beside a stream, where red,

Red roses grow, our bungalow of dreams.

Far from the city somehow it seems,

We’re sitting pretty in our bungalow of dreams.

Thus went the chorus of “Our Bungalow of Dreams,” a song written in 1927 that reflects widespread affection for a building style that swept across America as the 20th century was born. Today these distinctive Arts and Crafts homes still grace cities from California to Cape Cod, retaining the elegance and grace of an aesthetic, social and industrial movement.

The story began in England and was largely authored by William Morris whose home decorating themes stood in almost stark contrast to the guilded and ornate households of the Victorian Age. He, and others, wanted a return to organic simplicity and designs that blended with the natural environment. His decorative arts became integral to a new architectural style that simultaneously developed, sailed swiftly across the Atlantic and was adapted by American builders and designers.

Birth of a Movement

The appeal of Arts and Crafts homes, with their open interior design, low profile and simplicity of line was about much more than style. It was a reflection of social change brought about by the Industrial Revolution. In England, Morris and his mentors bemoaned the effects of mass production and the loss of personal connection to one’s work. They urged return to the craftsmanship of the past, when individuals were invested in the quality – not the quantity – of their work. Morris’s home decorations fully expressed this ideal and used patterns from nature, natural dyes and wall papers made from wood block prints.

At the same time, the Industrial Revolution was slowly changing daily family life in England and America. People were moving to cities for work in factories and families were earning a living – one that allowed an increasing number of people to own a home. Their homes would be simple – no need for servant quarters and grand entryways. Exteriors would be simple and easily maintained. Gingerbread carvings were replaced by natural stone, brick and timber that distinguished several variations of Craftsman homes in America.

America’s Craft Masters and Marketers

The nation gave birth to many accomplished architects whose work exemplifies the Movement – Greene and Greene, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Julia Morgan among others. Wisconsin offered up Gustav Stickley whose woodwork and furniture fully embraced and expressed Arts and Crafts principles. He also published the first of many magazines and catalogs that helped to popularize craftsman homes and décor.

While the work of these noted architects and designers captured attention in the early 1900s – and continues to do so today, it was a more popular medium that made the Craftsman house, the beloved Bungalow, an everyday American dream. Sears and Roebuck Company, Montgomery Ward and other national retailers began selling Craftsman home plans in catalogs, along with materials, blueprints and do-it-yourself kit homes. Sears and Roebuck even included house paint in its kits. Michigan alone had three major companies selling Bungalow and Craftsman kits across America. The costs of the kits ranged from a little over $1,000 to about $2,500.

This mass marketing mirrored other changes in American cities. Roads were being built, streetcars and trolleys were carrying people to an increasing number of white collar jobs and the demand for home ownership soared. Building materials were relatively cheap and the American dream of home ownership was thriving.

American Craftsman Styles

Arts and Crafts homes come in a number of styles. The Bungalow was among the most popular and still prized today. It characteristically has one story, a brick or rock fireplace, a small porch supported by brick or simple wooden columns, and a gently sloped roof. Some Bungalows have a small half-story perched atop the traditional design. Within this broad class are several styles that reflect the use of gables and extended rafters.

The Craftsman home has a more grand scale than the Bungalow. Its two-story design features fine detail work around windows and on eves. Roof rafters are exposed and cut in simple, yet elegant geometric patterns. The Craftsman home was generally larger than the more modest bungalow, with additional bedrooms upstairs and larger common living spaces. Front porches with characteristic columns might span the width of the house.

Yet another popular style in the Craftsman genre was the Foursquare or Box House that was often built on narrow urban lots. The two stories of the Foursquare were separated by a piece of simple trim board and a porch graced the entire front of the home. As with other Craftsman styles, brick, rock and wood used in simple lines embellished the Box House which was one of the most popular kit homes for Sears and Roebuck between 1900 and 1920. Many of these Foursquare homes have become the two-up, two-down apartments of modern American cities.

So popular is the Craftsman home, there was a resurgence of new building in this style at the end of the 20th century. The organic feel of the family friendly homes continues to appeal to people who are building in the 21st century. And, as testimony to the fundamental principle of the movement expressed by William Morris, Craftsmen homes built 100 years ago remain standing and strong. Built with care, attention to detail and dedication to craft, they elegantly stand the test of time.

beams

Elements and Examples of Beam Design

The elements of beam design is a topic of great interest for structural engineers and contractors. Beam design is integral in the design and construction of a structure. Most structural beams are comprised of wood, steel or concrete. Each of these construction materials reacts differently under the stress of a load. Each also has its own unique advantages.

Elements and Examples of Beam Design: Concrete Beams

Concrete beams are most often seen in commercial construction, such as in the erection of multi-level parking decks, hospitals, and large hotels. Concrete beams are also commonly used as bridge and highway supports. Some concrete beams are used in conjunction with steel beams to provide added strength. Newer concrete beams may also contain a hybrid material of traditional concrete mixed with Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) or Carbon FRP.

Concrete is a strong building material, but it is susceptible to water damage and cracking. Iron bars are often included in the beams to add strength and stability over areas prone to greater stress. Concrete beams area also desirable for their ability to absorb sound and vibration.

Elements and Examples of Beam Design: Steel Beams

One very common type of steel beam is the I-beam. These I shaped beam are strong and moderately affordable. Steel beams are capable of supporting heavy loads without experiencing great amounts of deflection by distributing the load of the structure over the flange of the beam. Steel beams may be treated to prohibit corrosion and oxidation, especially when used near or under water, such as in bridge construction.

Elements and Examples of Beam Design: Wood Beams

Wood beams are common in residential structures. Wood beams may be notched or jointed together for added strength. Wood beams are inexpensive and easy to alter to a builder’s specifications. However, they are also susceptible to rot and insect infestation. Specially treated wood beams are now available that resist decomposition, moisture and insects, making them an attractive choice in beam materials for most homeowners.

Elements and Examples of Beam Design: Flitch Beams

Flitch beams are specially constructed beams that join a steel plate with adjacent wood panels to form one composite structural beam. These flitch beams are strong, yet less expensive and lighter than solid steel beams. The construction of a flitch beam results in a reduction of the overall size of the beam, and the wooden exterior also allows the builder to nail the beam to other existing wooden structures in the home.

Elements and examples of beam designs are plentiful. Beam design and selection are an important part of the construction process and the wide variety of beams to choose from allow a builder to meet the needs of each project more easily.

Feedback, Pricing and Pressure when Hiring a Plumber

You can’t reasonably expect a local residential plumbing repair contractor to only show up when you need them. What’s required from your part is some preparatory work so you understand what your objectives are. You can determine if the contractor’s work fits the bill and your project plans if you have clear parameters in mind. If you need to create a list of qualities you expect in a local plumbing contractor, our list of tips might help you.

Before an agreement is finalised, attempt to interview the other clients of your plumbing service provider. Check out references from financial resources including suppliers, in addition to references from work. In addition, you should ensure that the local residential plumbing repair contractor might only use high-quality products on the work site. Research each of the materials completely to ensure that your plumbing service provider is using the very best possible options.

Research Past Customer Feedback

Be present at the job site frequently after hiring a residential plumbing repair contractor so that you know they’re doing adequate work on your project. Before hiring a local contractor, speak to others to get opinions. If you find the references to be positive, feel free to hire the plumbing service provider. When in doubt about a local plumbing contractor, search online for reviews on work ethic and past jobs. James Boyd Plumbing has one of the best reputations as a leading plumbing service provider in Sydney.

Summertime is often the busiest season for residential plumbing repair contractors. Summer projects keep contractors busy, so plan accordingly. This is a time of year when plumbing contractors are inclined to take on many projects, and they might not have enough time to do all of them. Make certain you relay every detail of your timeline to your local contractor and that he agrees in writing with your schedule.

Cheap Quotes may Resemble Poor Work Quality

You should never assume that low bids will lead to poor work by a licensed residential plumbing repair contractor. The cost of the materials needed to finish the project should be subtracted from the low quote before you do anything else. You should also take labor costs into account when you’re comparing bids. Only draw up a contract if you think that the pricing is reasonable. For tips on what must be included within a contract check out this website – Master Builder Australia.

Never underestimate the effort required to find a decent residential plumbing repair contractor. Ask your friends and family if they’re familiar with any reliable contractors and can provide you with a recommendation. Look for recommendations on plumbing contractors through renovation conventions, too. The more interviews you conduct, the greater the likelihood that you will find the perfect contractor.

Never Feel Pressured

Before a project begins, a thorough review of the contract is required. Much time and stress can be saved if everything agreed upon is included in the contract. Don’t sign your contract until you are satisfied with all the points listed, and ask your questions prior to signing, not after. If you are unclear about any of the legal terms used in the contract, consult with your lawyer prior to you sign it.